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Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline, and Transformation in Postwar...

Historians have not adequately assessed and analyzed the impact of post 1960 mass incarceration. Divided into three parts, the author makes three central arguments: 1) Mass incarceration is key to understanding the origins of the urban crisis; 2) Alongside globalization and industrialization, mass incarceration was an important factor in the decline of the labor movement post 1970s; and 3) Mass incarceration was a key mechanism facilitating the turn from 1930s postwar liberalism to neo-conservatism in the United States.


Thompson, H. A. (2010). Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline, and Transformation in Postwar American History. The Journal of American History, 97(3), 703–734. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40959940

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